Opinion: Busy year holding Mayor Khan to account
PUBLISHED: 08:00 31 December 2017
It has been a whirlwind year in City Hall in 2017.
As Sadiq Khan has moved further into his mayoralty, the London Assembly’s job of scrutinising his work has been more important than ever.
I have welcomed positive announcements but also done my best to expose the shortcomings of a mayor who has delivered little of what he promised during the election.
We discovered in January his claim that he was unable to freeze travelcards was a false one.
The expansion of the Night Tube across new parts of the network was welcome, but I was disappointed by the cancellations of upgrade work on the Jubilee and Northern lines – a side effect of the mayor’s costly and ineffective partial fares freeze.
Mr Khan’s flagship London Plan was launched with great fanfare in November. Unfortunately for those of us living in outer London, many of its policies effectively declare war on the suburbs as we know them.
If the plan as it stands is approved, it will be easier for your neighbour to build a small block of flats in their back garden and we will see increased density of living across Havering.
A worrying rise in knife and gun crime has also been an unwanted marker of 2017. Two stabbings just minutes apart in Havering back in May was indicative of the situation across the capital. Knife crime rose by 47 per cent by October – a situation the mayor must tackle in 2018 to make our streets safer for everyone.
There has of course though been some good news this year. The Elizabeth line will shortly be making transport easier into central London for the commuters in our borough. I have also achieved some progress with local transport issues at the Charlie Brown Roundabout and Ardleigh Green.
I’d like to wish all of you a very happy and prosperous New Year.